Friday, July 17, 2009

Telemarketers In Mexico

When we lived NOB, Minnesota passed a No Call law. If you put your name on the list, telemarketers could no longer call and try to harass you into buying something. It didn't work very well though.

They quickly learned that they could continue to call you if they did not specifically try to sell you something. Instead, they called to give you the opportunity to take advantage of their special offer. Semantics, if you ask me.

Over the years, I learned to stop hating their frequent and incessant calls and to have fun with them instead. I loved to waste their time and keep them from calling somebody else. Some of the things I tried on them:

. Keep interrupting them from their pre-typed format. Ask them where they are calling from. How's the weather there? Is their office air conditioned? Or are they in a cubicle? They keep loosing their place on the page and have to start over. Or they read the same sentence again. Where upon you tell them they already said that. They soon get frustrated and hang up voluntarily.

. Ask them if you can ask them a question first. They always say yes. Drop your voice and very seductively ask them "What are you wearing?" Man or woman. Doesn't matter. The next thing you hear will be the dial tone.

. Tell them that you are currently unemployed but would love to receive a free sample of their product.

. Offer to have their windows installed for free in your house in exchange for them taking pictures for their ad campaign.

. Tell them that you a little busy right now but would love to hear more. Could I have your home phone number and I'll call you back?

I miss playing those games now that I live in Mexico. Not that we don't get telemarketing calls. We do. Sometimes as many as five a day. And everyone of them is from the Mexican phone company, TelCel. They are trying to sell add-on features to your phone.

You are not exempt if you have a cell phone. They will leave text messages on your phone, filling your inbox with special offers.

I have finally learned how to deal with them. I used to just hang up or ask them if they speak English. Sometimes they do so now I ask if they speak Chinese.

But the best one? After you say hello and identify it as a sales call, just set the phone down. Don't say another word, don't hang up. Just pee your pants giggling as you listen to them say over and over, "Bueno?" You'll soon enough hear the click and dial tone.

Ok, so I'm childish. But a good laugh is a good laugh!


Sue said...

I love it! Great ideas. Me, I was always too annoyed at being disturbed to even be nice other than to cut them off and tell them "I'm not interested". Some would get highly offended and insist they were not trying to sell me anything (as you said, semantics), and then they would proceed to try to sell me something. Telmex called the other day - you know how they always ask who they are speaking to? (instead of identifying themselves, Mexicans always ask who answered the phone). When I said "quien queres (who do you want)?", she got mad and hung up on me. As if Telmex didn't have enough cash in the bank, they need to harass their paying customers to try to get more. Annoys me too.

Great post, made me chuckle!

MD in Texas said...

I can't even tell you how hard I laughed reading this! I think I am going to use a few of these ideas today when our first call of several comes in!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Wayne ....

You might also try THIS ploy...:

O Robert

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Some of these gave me a good giggle!

Calypso said...

Childish? No I don't think so - give it to them with both barrels - we don't have a phone or cell phone - we use skype - but we are starting to get nuisance calls on skype! grrrr - I will use some of your actions ;-)

Anonymous said...

try this prank on 'em Wayne


Trudy said...

I can't tell you how hard I laughed this morning!!! I'll be chuckling all day hoping I get a telemarker to call today. Thanks for making my Friday!!! Have a nice weekend.


Life's a Beach! said...

I say repeatedly in an accented voice -- 'I no understand.' Or just 'hello' over and over in an exasperated voice like I can't hear them until they finally hang up.

If I wasn't registered on the 'do not call' list, I might feel guilty. (or not)

Bueno - bueno - bueno - bueno. HA!

Merida Mikey said...

I, too, dislike telemarketers.

That being said, I have to add that I have lots of respect for ANYONE who is working for a living and trying to make enough money to feed his or her family.

Personally, toying with them and/or exchanging barbs over the phone is not my idea of a good time. I politely interrupt them, say no thank you or no gracias, and hang up.

Let them go on to the next caller and perhaps they will make a sale and be abelt to keep their job and feed their family.

I know, I know . . . . I march to the beat of a different drummer. But I like the music.

Merida Mikey

Steve Cotton said...

My favorites, when I was up north:
1. 3-year old. After hearing the inevitable pause in the automatic dialer, put on your best 3-year old voice. Answer every question: "I'm free yeahs awld." Hangups are fast.
2. When asked how are you, begin a monolog; "Not too good. I have this pain in my shoulder. You know the kind of pain you have from a tooth ache? The type where you can't keep your tongue away from it? Well, it just won't go away. My friend Maude has a similar problem. I borrowed her pills, but they make me dizzy. You know that feeling when you just lie down in bed and the room starts to ... ." Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laugh!!!!

KfromMichigan said...

I look at my caller ID before I answer the phone. Telemarketer, well don't answer!

Anonymous said...

Thanks W. Now I have to go change my pants from laughing!!! XXXOOO D.

Nancy said...

I hang up as soon as I know it's a marketer. That way nobody wastes their time.

It's got to be a hard way to make a living. I wonder what percentage of their calls culminate in a sale?

Jamqueen said...

Alan loves to answer the phone & speak in Spanish--we don't have caller ID, but most of our friends are used to it so they don't hang up--it does fluster the telemarketers though.

Mary said...

Mostly I just hang up, but sometimes I let my 4 year old talk to them. He loves talking on the phone.

lisa said...

That is great!!! I will defiantly remember that. I have caller ID now and I simply pick up the phone and then set it back down.